How will you make 2016 different from other years when you thought—this is the year, something has to change! Try these three steps to make 2016 the year of your professional breakthrough.
Commit to Action: The difference between the person who dreams big and the person who makes that dream come true is action. Years ago, I worked for a guy who managed by spreadsheet. He had a tracker for everything—an expense tracker, an attendance tracker, a pending sales tracker, a daily sales call tracker—his team was so busy filling out Excel spreadsheets very little else was done. Since the trackers only mattered to him because the organization was focused on results; he was my manager for a very short time. A classic case of analysis paralysis. This is not to say that you haven’t planned to change jobs or dreamed of your exit plan from work; you may have been doing that for years. If taking the action step is hard for you—create or join an accountability group, enlist a career coach or work with a trusted mentor. At the very minimum, every day take step toward your dream no matter how small.
Inspire Yourself: Did Nelson Mandela dream he could be President of South Africa while he spent 27 years in prison? When J.K. Rowling was an unemployed single mother on public assistance and her manuscript was consistently rejected for over a year; did she think Harry Potter would make her the first billionaire writer? Ursula Burns is not a household name but she’s the little girl who grew up in a New York housing project with a single mother working two jobs that became the first Black woman in America to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She has led Xerox for the past five years. Do whatever it takes for you to become inspired- visit with inspiring people, listen to motivational speakers or music that pumps you up. I have podcasts of interesting TED Talks I listen to in my car, audio books and of course, great collections of music. Who or what inspires you and how can you tap into that energy?
Have Fun: Life is short, I am constantly reminded of that and 2015 was no different. Celebrate small achievements: you didn’t miss any meetings of your Master Mind group; you took PTO to “shadow” someone in the career you’re interested in pursuing or you watched a YouTube video or webinar to move you closer to your goal. Maybe you discovered your goal needs a tweak- make adjustments. Smile- research studies show smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. It also activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress plus smiles are contagious. It’s kind of fun to watch other people smile back at you. Gratitude is terribly underrated, so everyday, I find something to be grateful about; it keeps my life in perspective.
Have the best year ever!
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” ---Toni Morrison